Monday, July 4, 2011

Images in the Classroom Series - Emotions

My husband calls me a tourist or gadget girl. I always have a device which can help me capture the moment. First, because of my interest in photography, in getting that moment that in nanoseconds will be simply past. However, my most preement reason for being a gadget girl is that I am an educator. I always feel that I can explore the world with my students through the eyes of a lens. Those captured moments are an invaluable teaching tool. I go beyond, though. It is not only my photos, but all the photos I come across in Flickr Creative Commons. Flickr is just so powerful that words wouldn't be able to reach its strength for pedagogical purposes. Here's just one example of how it can be used by educators interested in developing students' critical thinking, critical literacies and so on.

Take for example this photo I came across in Alan Levine's slideshare presentation.

We could have a wonderful "Emotion" class just by exploring it.

Ideas? Many! Here are some:

  • Start by asking your students to draw how they feel today. Or you can even ask them to fold the paper in four and give them specific times of the day (today at school, yesterday evening, today during lunch time, right now). They draw their four different moods in the paper and share them with friends giving reasons why they felt that way. You could ask them to find people who shared two similar kinds of moods during specific times of the day, or someone who had quite the opposite emotions. That should be fun!

  • Write the word CRYING on the board. Why do people cry? Let the students speak out.
  • If the teacher feels it won't hurt anybody's feelings or cause any embarassment to a student, ask the group when the last time they cried was and see if someone wants to share his story. This can be highly emotional, I know. But it can also build group trust, a sense of community. If you feel it is a too-touchy subject, change it for "the last time you had a really great, loud laugh"
  • Show the photo to the group to explore the context:

    - Why was this boy crying?
    - Who was holding him?
    - Where are they?
    - What time of the day was it?
    - How long do you think he kept crying? Why?
    - What would the person holding him do or say to make him smile again?
    - Do you remember a similar scene in your house?
  • After the group discussion, you can ask students:
    - to write a text as if the boy was reporting what happened and why he was crying.
    - to write a text from the perspective of the person holding him and his feelings towards the boy crying
    - to build up a dialogue based on the scene
    - to include a third person in the room (students choose the person they would include and what this person would do to make the boy stop crying)
    - to make a drawing as if they were the boy at the exact moment he stopped crying
Any other ideas for this very emotional class?

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